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“Filthy. Uncomfortable. Friendly staff.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Apek Utama Hotel

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Apek Utama Hotel
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Filthy. Uncomfortable. Friendly staff.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

First the good stuff: as we checked in, the hosts were very friendly and spent about 20 minutes chatting with us about where we should go in Brunei BSB. We received a free upgrade to a room with TV.

If the room was an upgrade, I do not want to see the normal room size. Room and TV were tiny and extremely dated, but fair enough it was pretty cheap.

Cleanliness was terrible. The room was clean except for the curtains and the cupboards, but the bathroom was filthy. There was urine and hair on the toilet seat and various gunk on the walls. The mat at the bathroom door was filthy and the curtains were covered in mold. We pointed this out to the staff and they confirmed the room had not been cleaned, but that 'I don't think anyone has been using it'. They offered to clean while we were out, and replace the bedsheets. We went out and had a great time in the city. On our return, the bedding was changed and the bathroom had clearly been cleaned as everything was wet. However, only the top of the toilet seat and the toilet bowl were actually cleaner. There were still hairs on the toilet lid and yellow gunk all over the toilet tank and walls.

On the positive side, there were no roaches at all, which is remarkable considering the open drain in the bathroom floor.

The bathroom was an all-in-one style with a toilet, sink and open shower head, so you shower in the middle of the floor. Sink was tiny and loose and there was no mirror (luckily I didn't need to shave on holiday). The door didn't have a door handle, just a latch which was not strong enough to open the door from the inside if the wood caught. After having to push the door from the outside when one of us got stuck in the bathroom, we just left the door slightly ajar each time.

Now to the room. Size was decent, but by no means spacious. The bed had a foam mattress with plastic on it, which is a bit uncomfortable but OK. The pillows were hard as bricks, which was NOT OK and made it very hard to sleep. The air conditioner was inefficient and extremely loud; we had to raise our voices to hear each other. The large ceiling fan was pleasant and much quieter. Wifi did not work in the room, only in the hallway.

As for the location, if you stay here, take the water taxis! It's a short enough walk (@ 10 mins - watch the roads with no pavements and deep mud on both sides) and the water taxis are cheap and great fun! Best bit of the whole trip! You'll want to go to town for everything, as there's not much near the hotel, though we did notice a supermarket on our last day.

Overall, our stay was disappointing and uncomfortable. Staff were friendly and likeable, but clearly have no idea what 'clean' means. While we could live with the quality and condition of the room, the filth - especially after we specifically requested cleaning - was very disturbing. Next time I will spend a bit more to stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: Only stayed in one room which was terrible. Others may be better?
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sofian L, Manager at Apek Utama Hotel, responded to this review, 18 September 2014
We thank you for your review of our hotels. We have taken your advice positively and taken all the necessary steps and actions to address the issues raised, and we have no further complaints from guests staying in that particular room.

The wi fi provided is complimentary and free of charge and can be access in large parts of the hotel, and your room was unfortunately in a blind spot and we have rectify this.

We have also provided all guests including yourselves free breakfast and all day unlimited coffee/tea making facility .
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    5
    6
    12
    3
    0
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2
8
12
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Indonesian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
brunei
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

This is in response to requests for more info about Apek Utama,

Hotel is family-run, has 60 rooms, mostly double occupancy, located about 2kms from town centre, about 30mins walk, 2 mins by car, also accessible by water taxi from jetty about 5 mins walk from hotel and next to mosque....... self-service kitchenette, outdoors lounge area.

Bookings thru Agoda.... rates start from B$30 for double bed to $50 for family room....

Supermarket next door about 5 mins walk...

Sufficient numbers of car parking spaces.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank zainin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bangkok
Level Contributor
437 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 315 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

Don't let the lack of reviews dissuade you. This is a fine, clean, comfortable place to stay. The owners are very hospitable. It's not the Ritz, but if you aren't too picky, it's the best option I found in Brunei. Prices are a fraction (25 percent) of the next lodging options. The negatives and resulting 4 star rating: a 2km bus ride or walk along the main road into town and the hot water wasn't so hot in the shower, might have just been my room. Otherwise, everything is fine. The bed is comfortable, the air con and wifi both work well and there is a small grocery store next to the hotel for cheap food shopping. Probably not a great place if you are here on business due to the location, but for Brunei sightseeing, this is a fine choice. Bus 39 passes right in front of the hotel about every 20-30 minutes. Water taxi station into town is about 300 meters walk from the hotel. Couldn't find any restaurants in the area, but didn't look very hard. There are plenty of options downtown.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank RTWtraveler213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Apek Utama Hotel

Property: Apek Utama Hotel
Address: Simpang 229, Km 2, Jalan Kota Batu, Bandar Seri Begawan BA2711, Brunei Darussalam
Phone Number:
Region: Brunei Darussalam > Brunei-Muara District > Bandar Seri Begawan
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 21 Hotels in Bandar Seri Begawan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a family run hotel and cater for all. We provide 60 air-condition and ceiling fan rooms for the comfort of our guests. Each room is very spacious and comes with private bathroom (en-suite) and just located a stone throw away from the famous Brunei water village. Ae are only a few kilometre away from major attractions such as, Brunei Museum, Technology Museum, Maritime Museum, Sultan Omar Ali Mosque, the Handicraft centre, Yayasan Hj Hassanal Bolkiah complex, The Royal Regalia Museum, Traditional market, Jame Asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque, Tasek Lama Recreational Park and the Royal Waterfront. Please contact us by phone or e mail to get a special price. Do qoute Trip Adviser for special rate ... more   less 
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